“So you married her for the sex?!”
Tobi nodded, slowly, thinking again about that decision he made a little over a year ago. “How I for do na? Kezo, the babe can ride mehn…”
Popularly called Kezo by close friends, Kazeem could not believe his friend of 22 years would take such a lifelong decision based on special skills between the sheets. He thought Tobi was smarter. He thought he knew better.
“This life ehn, is just a pot of beans,” Tobi muttered slowly as he poured his favourite Tiger nut drink into the half cup of Alomo bitters. “The things that have happened to me ehn… “, he paused to take a swig from his cup, slowly enjoying the milky substance. “ Oh, I love Joke too much.”
Kazeem knew Tobi loved Joke, his wife of 14 months. It was clear: Tobi was not the lovey-dovey type, but with Joke, he was a clingy baby.
“So what now happened? How did it all go wrong?” Kazeem asked.
“Kezo, you are family, maybe not by blood but by choice. I will tell you everything. Some of it you already know, most you don’t.” Tobi answered wistfully. He ordered another bottle of Tiger nut, rubbed his bowl-like belly and waited. When the attendant brought his drink, he quickly opened it, poured a little more into the cup.
His mind went back to the past hour. The bar was slowly coming alive with guys returning from work. Earlier that evening, Tobi had called Kazeem, after weeks of avoiding him, to talk about happenings in his marriage. They had agreed to meet at their favourite bar. Kazeem could sense Tobi carried a hurt within him immediately he walked to their favourite table tucked at a corner of the bar.
“Ol’ boy, na wa o, ki lon sele now?” Kazeem had berated him.
“No vex,” was all the answer he got. Then he followed promptly by ordering his recently favoured Tiger nut milk and some Alomo bitters while telling him his reason for marrying Joke. For sex. He had married Joke for sex.
He started from the beginning.
“Joke was the woman of my dreams. Baba, I don see women, none be like Joke. Ehn, she was just like something out of my life plan. I don date plenty women o,” he paused and started naming while counting his fingers, “Sade, Labake, Chioma, Seun, Bukola, Josephine, Amina, Amaka, name them… But the day Joke said yes, I knew I was home.”
“While Labake was a spirit in bed, Amina pales her by 100 percent. Baba, I love me some great sex. I don’t care if you can cook or slay like Genevieve. Just have ample boobs and interesting hips, I’m fine. Joke ticked all the boxes. But there was always a challenge from the outset: Joke was a Christian. Church girl. Spirikoko.”
Tobi paused again. Another swig. Another sigh. A belly rub. Then he continued.
“The church bit threw me off but every time I saw her, my brain reset.”
Kazeem knew what he was talking about. Joke had a look that could make the Pope look for Vaseline. And she carried that body with a mien that was as unremarkable as it was unexciting. He knew what Tobi liked. Joke fit that body type. He understood. Every man would.
“So, I kept my cool and chased her,” Tobi continued. “Oh, the babe stressed me ehn. She would ignore my calls, reject my gifts, and refuse to have a word with me. For months! The more she pushed me away, the more I wanted her. And I ensured I eventually got her.”
“You know what I did? I started attending her church. The plan was to get her to like me. But I got engrossed with the Church. I cannot remember when going to church excited me that much. I forgot my initial reason for attending. And that was when Joke noticed me.” A smile strolled across Tobi’s face as he recalled the days.
Kazeem felt his joy. His friend truly got arrested.
“So she reached out and we started going out. Baba mi, Joke was heaven.” The smile came back stronger now.
“She made me forget all others. My life actually got better. And I was totally at peace with my life. Kazeem,” he paused, “Joke too make sense. Baba, Joke na very straight forward girl. Church. Work. Home; e be like triangle. I kuku like am like that. Na me just dey find wetin no loss. Joke na correct babe. But the one problem I had was sex. We were not having sex”
Kazeem smiled. He was already wondering how Tobi coped without sex. The Tobi he knew was never going to abstain like that.
“I no fit ask nor touch her. Na like maize inside bottle for fowl. No matter the agro, I just let her be. But I had my ways – Amaka. Baba, when I wan do, na Amaka I go call. God bless that babe, she know say Joke don carry my life but she still dey service me wella. She kept me going.”
Kazeem shook his head.
“Baba, but na still that Amaka situation change everything. One Saturday evening, Joke just come my house unannounced and met Amaka. If na say she meet am on a normal level, e for good. She walked in on Amaka on all fours and me ramming her from behind. Kezo, I nearly died.”
Kazeem tried picturing a naked Tobi humping the Amaka babe. It was not a sight a Joke should see, he admitted.
“Kezo, Joke didn’t leave o. She simply walked past us into the room. I never see that kain thing before.”
“Wetin you come do?” Kazeem asked incredulously.
“Baba, I sharperly discharge Amaka o. Na the last time I do her be that. She vex. But a man’s gotta do what he gotta do.”
“Wetin Joke come do?” Kazeem asked.
Tobi smiled as the memories washed over him.
“She just asked a simple question: you know you were into sex and you never ever asked nor even made a move with me.”
Kazeem was shocked. “Joke?”
Tobi nodded in agreement.
“Baba, I just went on my knees o and begged her plenty. Then she asked if I wore condoms. I said yes, I did. Then she gave me this head-to-toe look and walked out of the apartment. For two weeks, I didn’t see her. She won’t pick my calls again neither would she even as much as say hi in church. I thought I had lost her.”
Tobi refilled his glass and took a long sip.
“Baba, you no go drink ni?” Tobi asked, noticing for the first time that his friend had been sitting without a drink.
“You know say I no dey drink now. Let them just give me Fayrouz or Cranberry,” Kazeem responded. Tobi placed the order for him and continued his tale.
“I wanted to give up on Joke. I thought I had bottled it. But Baba, na so I see Joke one Sunday evening o as I dey dress to go chill with boys. At least if woman leave person, beer no dey leave.”
Kazeem laughed at his friend’s attempt at sarcasm.
“So she came o. Come ask what exactly I want from am. I tell am straight: I wan marry am ni. She said, ok. So you think by sleeping with other women is how you convince another woman to marry you? I just keep quiet dey look. Make we no long gist, she gave me two rules: no other women; always ask what you want.”
Kazeem nodded. Straight forward girl.
“So as a sharp boy, I say make I test the rules. Na him I ask for sex.”
“That was when I discovered gold in the dust bro. It was almost mechanical. She just looked me in the eyes, rolled her eyes and stripped off. You know how it is when you are in charge of the remote control? She literally just gave herself to me. It looked like it was going to be a boring adventure. But nah, omo yen da. We were on this matter for over two hours. I no believe am. Church girl. Great body. Amazing in bed. Wetin I dey find again? Baba, na that day I propose o.”
Kazeem laughed out loud, almost choking on his Fayrouz in the process.
“Abi now. I forget Amaka straight from that day. Joke was a steady and assured lover in and out of bed. We were married within the year. And brother mi, it was the best moment of my life.”
Kazeem nodded. He was aware of the bliss and the excitement of the marriage.
“We had sex every day. It was like a dam of want had been demolished in her life. We had it everywhere. Once on our way from evening service, she gave me a BJ right there in the car park. Baba, I enjoyed everything. I no know say na wetin I like go kill me.” He sighed and shook his head.
“The accident changed everything. Of course you know about the accident. What you don’t know is that I was rushing home that night to my wife. She had sent me a video of her playing with herself. The message was clear. But I was held up at work till almost 11pm. I literally flew out of the car park that night. On my way home, some family was crossing the expressway enroute vigil. I saw them late. But I avoided running into them instead crashing the car into the concrete median. I woke up two days later in the hospital. You remember that day shey? Na you and Joke dey my bedside.”
Kazeem nodded in affirmation. He had gotten a call that night of the accident that Tobi was involved in a lone accident. For two days, he had stayed by his bedside hoping he came out of coma. Joke was there too; her office had given her some days off work to look after her husband.
“Remember I spent 6 weeks in hospital. Plenty issues. But I lived. Right in my presence, I saw my wife wither away in pain and anguish. Her husband was no longer exciting. We tried to keep the sex life alive but I was always in pains. She had to ride me slowly; too slowly for her to orgasm.”
Tobi’s voice trailed off in anguish. He was fighting back the tears.
“I tried all I could.” The sobs were coming now. “But I was never up to it. Soon, she stopped enduring my boring ass. She became withdrawn. Baba, babe wey fit fuck for Africa come dey withdrawn? I fear. But wetin I fit do? I was just recovering from an accident; I never even go back to work.”
“Kezo, it was the saddest period of my life. Apart from say the accident worry me, I no too ginger for the thing again. I just wanted to live.”
“I try everything to get back my old self. My friends say Tigernut works as an aphrodisiac. Baba, na three months be this way I don dey drink the thing, nothing happen,” he sighed again. “At least with Joke.”
Kazeem spied the drink. One off-white mixture with black particles.
“As I dey try hustle my way to a better life, Joke kept growing apart. Sex had become a once-a-month thingy. Even that once a month be like favour. I kukuma stop every jare. But my dear Joke suddenly seemed to enjoy her life more. She was always glowing, eager to go out more and more. I was shocked. She no longer served me food naked nor barged into the bathroom while I had my bath. No more cinema dates or surprise hangout. The spontaneous sex had become a mirage. Kazeem, it killed me.”
This time, Tobi shed a tear but quickly cleaned it off.
“Then the worst happened. Friends started telling me that my Joke was sleeping around. I no believe am. But the gist continue. I still no believe. But the day I see am myself ehn, I still no believe my eyes.”
“Wow. Joke?!” Kazeem asked in shock.
“Dey there. Na my neighbour o. Yomi. See ehn, this Yomi, na my boy o. I took him like a brother. But the day I opened my flat and saw my wife riding Yomi on the floor of the living room, I nearly passed out. Kezo, na like the way she dey ride me: eyes closed, back arched, hand pressing the guy down, moans so loud like crashing waves.”
Kazeem was dumbfounded. He just sat there, allowing Tobi weep.
“Just because of an accident, I lost my drive; I lost my wife. To a boy I literally made.” The sobs were heavier now. But he controlled himself and reined in his emotion.
“You saw her, in your apartment, sleeping with another man?” Kazeem asked, total disbelief crowding every phrase.
“Baba, Joke o. You see why I no gree pick your call. She don come report me to you but she tell you wetin she do? How she refused sleeping with me for weeks? How I walked in on her sleeping with another man? How she had been telling everyone I am impotent and cannot get it up without Tigernut?”
Kazeem kept quiet. All these were new to him. Joke had just told him Tobi was no longer giving her attention just 14 months into their marriage. She never said anything about the sex nor the infidelity.
“My brother, the only reason I let that boy live that day was because she once walked in on me too. It just feels right to not blow my fuse.”
Kazeem searched for words but could not find any. Joke had been introduced by Tobi soon after they started the relationship. He had been delighted his friend was finally getting a sane girl. And the joys of the early years were palpable. He also noticed everything entered a lull after the accident.
“Tobi, I really don’t know what to say. I am sorry I never gave you a chance to tell your side of the story….”
“Baba, no need to be sorry,” Tobi cut him short. “See, I be street boy. I know as e dey go. Joke na sex freak. She cannot stay 2 days without the dick. Na my wife. I like her that way. Na as the accident take happen scatter everything. But I cannot kill myself. I gave my best when I could.”
“Yeah, Tobi. But what is the way forward?” Kazeem asked.
“I no know. I sha no send am packing. No, I no go do that. I have hope. I am willing to forgive her. She is the best thing that has happened to me. I won’t let her go. No, man.”
“How e go come be now?”
“Kezo, shebi na lifetime contract we sign? I am here. I cannot just end it like that.”
Kazeem sighed. He really was confused.
“Oh oh! So you see?” Tobi muttered. “I will give this one more try. I blame myself for driving too fast that night. All these would never have happened. It was all my fault.”
“No, no Tobi. Not your fault. You were going home to her, remember?”
“Baba, this is my cross. I will bear it alone. If it kills me, fine. But I will try. I will fight for my wife. I cannot fail at this.”
Kazeem sensed the finality in his voice.
“I am loading myself on Tigernut, hoping someday I will get my drive back.”
The conversation went into an uncomfortable quiet. The brothers knew there was little else to say. To each man, his cross.